My 2016 Reading List: A Year of Learning

my 2016 reading list

I spent some time downloading books onto my kindle today and choosing my a few audio books in advance of a week out in the sticks.  I couldn’t help but notice how many books, I’d read or listened to during 2016 while making those choices.  My 2016 reading list had somehow amounted to 22 books in total.
You see, I’ve always been a book worm.  As a child, you’d find me under the covers with a torch enjoying Enid Blyton and the Famous Five. I always wished I’d attended Mallory Towers.
But recently reading has taken a back seat and instead I’d binge on books while on holiday from work.   I was the girl who crammed 8 books into her backpack for a three week trip to Thailand. I had finished them by the end of the second week and was relieved when I spotted a book library on the Island where we were spending our last week.  These were, of course, the days before kindles!
So looking back on 2016 has been interesting.   Audible has definitely helped pushed the list up in terms of the numbers of books. Particularly with several long journeys between Wokingham, Essex and Scotland.
My list is also full of self-development, leadership and marketing books.  Despite my love of auto-biographies, the list is 100% dedicated to these topics and clearly shows where my spare time has been focused!
Note that I haven’t tried to review each in full but merely provide a few brief sentences re the scope of each of book. They are in no particular order but if you do want to know which are my Top 3, then pop back on New Year’s Eve for my 100th blog (yep.. how did that happen?).
I’ll be sharing my highs, lows and learnings from 2016 along with my Top 3 books of the year.
my 2016 reading list

My 2016 Reading List


#1  The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning shows how a morning routine built around 6 key practices known as “Life S.A.V.E.R.S” – silence, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading and scribing – can help you get more done and live your best life.
If you’ve read my previous blog HERE on the Miracle Morning, you’ll know that this wasn’t something that worked for me.  However, I do know many people who love this book and that it has helped them greatly.
The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8 AM

#2 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

Quite a short book that I managed to read over two days.
It talks you through a process of decluttering your home and I used this in the run up packing up pre my relocation.  I haven’t quite gone as far thanking my socks each day but this did have a huge impact and the local charity shops benefited. Weirdly just as the book says, I felt so much better too.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever

#3 Born To Blog by Mark Schaefer and Stanford A. Smith

Another easy to read book that was quick to read through over a short period of time.  Packed full of hints, tips and ideas re how to attract the right audience and promote your blog.
You’ll find lots of easy to implement ideas and more in here.
Born to Blog: Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post at a Time

#4  Contagious by Jonah Berger

I listened to this book while travelling back from Scotland on a trip this year and was lucky that my mum was with me.
Why? Well, I found myself having so many ideas re both businesses that I kept asking her to make a note and send them to me in an email.
It covers exactly why some products and brands are talked about more than others and why articles and videos go viral.   Packed full of examples which will push your brain into idea overdrive!
Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age

#5 Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley

Ever wondered how Glastonbury sells out tickets a year in advance without announcing the bands or why certain restaurants and businesses books out months advance? Then it’s the book for you.
I gleaned a lot from this book and helped me think clearly about some future plans for the beach huts.
Oversubscribed: How to Get People Lining Up to Do Business with You

#6  F**K It by John C. Parkin

This is one of my most well-read books and one I come back to year and year again.
I find that you can easily dip into particular chapters rather than reading it end to end. Great for those moments when you may be feeling like everyone is telling you to do the opposite of what you want!
F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way

#7  #AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk

While I know a lot of people are ‘switched by Gary’s hustle talk.  Once you see through the ‘noise’, I find him extremely insightful and more than a little motivating.
I chose to listen via Audible as Gary has added further content since writing the book and I’ve listened to the book twice now.
Honest and useful and if you aren’t familiar with Gary then I’d start here.
#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness

#8  Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Essentialism talks about doing less rather than pursuing the idea that you have to do everything all at once.
If you struggle to say no to people or new projects and find yourself juggling too many things to do, then this book will help.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

#9  Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

In my second Gary Vee book of the year, he talks about harnessing the power of the Internet to turn a passion into a business.
Personal brand, transparency and taking advantage of the opportunity that the Internet presents are all strong messages throughout.
Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

#10  Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Simon’s principle is quite simple. It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters why you do it.
I’d watched Simons’ famous Ted Talk on an NHS Leadership course early in the year and purchased this book along with Leaders East Last below.
Great examples from Martin Luther King to Steve Jobs showing you why we need to ask more questions and understand the Why instead of the What.
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

#11 Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Having previously come across te concept of Triangle of Trust, Leaders Eat Last set out an idea based around creating a Circle of Safety.
Simon Sinek shows that great leaders build a Circle of Safety, fostering trust and cooperation within their teams.   This leads to deep loyalty and a team that will work relentlessly to achieve their aims.
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

#12  The One Thing by Gary Keller

If you’ve ever set goals or a target and been distracted by other things, then you’ll relate to this book.
I found it a little repetitive in making its point but it is a good point.  This book will help you work out what your one thing is and make it your One Thing.
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

#13 Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet

Another of this year’s audio books and while not business based, shares great advice and insight re leadership.
The story is based around a poorly performing crew of the USS  Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine and how through great leadership, it was possible to turn the ship around.
Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules

#14  The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Do you have a habit you wish you could change or one that you’d like to develop?  The Power of Habit sets out the theory re why habits exist and also how you can change them.
Charles argues that the key to several successful individuals was in being able to change their habits.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change

#15  The Automatic Customer by John Warrilow

I wish I’d found this book earlier as just a few weeks after reading, I launched Millie’s Beach Hut Club.
I’ve pages and pages of notes and ideas from this book which helps you focus on the fact your repeat/returning customers are those that keep your business alive.
Great examples which will make you rethink how you operate your business.
The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry

#16  The Content Code by Mark Schaefer

This was one of the first books recommended to me when I’d only published a few posts.  All I can say is good timing!
The book breaks down what marketers call ‘content marketing’ into simple, easy chapters.   At the time, I was new to the subject so found the examples and tips more than helpful in understanding.
If you think your producing blogs and videos just like everyone else. You probably are and this book will help you think through your strategy.
The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business

#17 Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

It’s a bumper of a book but so helpfully broken down into easy to read chapters.  I’ve found myself dipping back into these for the second time and know it won’t be the last.
Practical, succinct and perfect for anyone who isn’t confident with their writing and looking to improve.  Though saying that, it’s packed full of fundamentals that I think could be applied to all forms of content.
Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Hanging out in Spain with Ann Handley – July 2016


#18  Chapter One by Daniel Flynn

I smile when I think about this book.
It tells the story of the highs and lows of three young Australians who are genuinely trying to change the world.    Daniel shares their challenges and the ups and downs. I’ve taken so many things away from this book and can’t wait to read Chapter Two.
Chapter One: You Have the Power to Change Stuff

#19  The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, PhD

It’s an oldy, first published in 1959 but covers a step by step approach which will help you move past fear and start thinking about what could be possible.
Each chapter focuses on a different principle such as ‘attitude’ and is packed full of ideas.  There is a great action plan included at the end of each chapter.
The Magic of Thinking Big

#20  Drive by Daniel H. Pink

I was unsure whether to include Drive on my list as I haven’t quite finished the book.
I will be honest and say that I struggled with it but know that many others reading it at the same time loved it.  I suspect my own experience was due to the fact that it focusses on motivation within teams and leadership and I’d just walked away from a job that was focused around this.
If you lead a team or just generally interested in what motivates people, this book is likely to change your thinking.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

#21 Create or Hate by Dan Norris

A late addition to my 2016 list but another book I know that I will read time and time again.
Perfect for those who may have that “One day I’m going to ” list or struggle to focus on the important task of creating.  And for those of us who come across ‘hate’, Dan shows you how this can be controlled so that you can free up your effort and emotion for creation.
Create Or Hate: Successful People Make Things

#22 Social Media Explained by Mark Schaefer

Easy to read and I’d suggest this is great for a beginner looking to get started with social media.
As with all of Mark’s book, he includes easy to implement tips and it’s well-structured but fun too.
Social Media Explained: Untangling the World’s Most Misunderstood Business Trend
I suspect another book or two may make it onto this list before the end of the year.  If you’re intrigued, then I currently have the below downloaded or packed for the next week:

  • Tools of Titans – Timothy Ferriss
  • The War of Art – Steve Pressfield
  • Same Side Selling – Ian Altman and Jack Quarles

What’s been your favourite book that you’ve read in 2016? Is there a book I MUST put on my 2017 list? I’d love to hear about it –  just pop a comment in below.

5 Comments on “My 2016 Reading List: A Year of Learning”

  1. Great list of books, Vicky. Some I’ve read already, some I intend to read. Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts on them. Hey, Enid Blyton definitely has a lot to answer for!

    1. I’m hoping the 2017 list is going to be just as great though there are lots on this list that I can see me re-reading!
      I completely agree re Enid ;0)

  2. I really enjoyed Turn the Ship Around too, Vicky. Great list. I’m a few chapters away from my 25th book of the year so going to get that done to meet my Goodreads target.

    1. How have I not discovered Goodreads before Nicola? Just signed up ;0)
      Looking to add a lot more fiction and biographies back into my list for next year – now just to set a target ;0) I’m sure I’ll be after some recommendations!!

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